Thomas waited along the pavement
fiddling with his arguments to support
Christianity; I opted for a godless
universe. The gate and jasmine
between us, “This is not an argument
about the purpose of things,” I exhaled.
I spoke slowly about randomness:
The Oleander that blooms mid-yard,
unplanted, the moss in between the cracks
of bricks formed from a stray drip,
the pomegranate seeds we search
for answers, the taste sours your face,
and like elastic, springs back, hopeful.
We lean against the cold metal fence.
I brush a stray leaf from Thomas’
black wool coat. I shiver, and the sky
is as grey as the ash I haven’t cleared
from the bottom of my fireplace
from last winter.
Thomas tells of a dream about his dead
father, pockets his hands, withdrawing.
He says he wants to believe in something
beyond this life. I think of my own deceased,
never responding to my maddening
solitary séances. I want to believe they are gone,
that the dead do not come back. Thomas
does not offer me his coat, and I feel
alone next to him. His eyes focus
across the street—Easter lilies bloom,
white-petals beginning to wilt
and recede until next June. He is fixed
to this notion of going on.
Lightning strikes behind me; I see its reflection
move across his eyes, a drop of rain
on the back of my hand. I tremble
with the cold, and Thomas opens an umbrella
then draws me near, he wants to protect
me from nature, from so much consequence.
He wraps me into his coat, against his warmth;
together against so much life.